HEART Force

Engaging rural Colorado middle and high school students, teachers, and communities to take proactive steps in preparing for and responding to natural hazards. 

HEART Force

Environmental hazards—such as wildfire, flood, and drought—are increasingly affecting communities in Colorado. With this rise in hazardous events, there is a pressing need for communities to become more resilient through education, preparation, and planning.

The Hazard Education, Awareness, and Resilience Task Force (HEART Force) is a collaborative project implemented by the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and NOAA’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) partner Western Water Assessment.

Interested? Please contact our team at: ciresoutreach@colorado.edu

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The Resilient Colorado Virtual Expo will be revitalized for the 2020-2021 school year, please stay tuned!

As teachers across Colorado transition to online learning, we are offering an opportunity for students to share their resilience strategies virtually. The virtual expo is presented as a partnership between ourselves, Earth Force (the Rocky Mountain Environmental Hazards Challenge), and the Mountain Studies Insitute (the San Juan Youth Resilient Summit). Check out the 2019-2020 guidelines and submissions here

 

Upcoming Events

Introduction to the RISE Challenge
- PD Workshop

Join us for the second installment of the Natural Hazards Resilience Teacher Professional Development Series brought to you by the HEART Force program and the Earth Force RISE Chall

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Community Natural Hazard Mitigation with the City of Fort Collins
- PD Workshop

Join us for an installment of the Natural Hazards Resilience Teacher Professional Development Series brought to you by the HEART Force program and the Earth Force RISE Challenge

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Statewide Efforts to Support Local Resilience in Colorado Communities
- PD Workshop

Join us for an installment of the Natural Hazards Resilience Teacher Professional Development Series brought to you by the HEART Force program and the Earth Force RISE Challenge

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RISE Challenge Expert Teachers Share
- PD Workshop

Join us for an installment of the Natural Hazards Resilience Teacher Professional Development Series brought to you by the HEART Force program and the Earth Force RISE Challenge

Read More
Colorado Hazards of 2020: The Science Behind (this year's) Drought & Wildfires
- PD Workshop

Join us for an installment of the Natural Hazards Resilience Teacher Professional Development Series brought to you by the HEART Force program and the Earth Force RISE Challenge

Read More

HEART Force is in the second year (Y2) of implementation, and is currently working in 5 school districts to pilot curriculum. We are also working with the Colorado Resilience Office and the Department of Local Affairs to connect teachers and classrooms to ongoing resilience efforts in rural areas. The figure below shows the areas we have been working in and plan to work in.

Heart Force Locations

 

The flexible, three-part curriculum is designed for middle and high school science classrooms, but can be adapted for Agriculture, STEM, or Civics classroom. Lessons are designed to meet NGSS and 2020 CDE Science Standards. 

We encourage teachers to choose one hazard to focus on (wildfire, flood, or drought), and pick the parts that suit your classroom—from a week introduction to the hazard to a multi-week, integrated project. Most materials are editable Google docs which can be used as-is or customized for the way you want to use them. 

The curriculum consists of three parts: 

  • Hazard Lessons use case studies and authentic data to learn about the causes, frequency, impacts and responses to natural hazards. They use what they’ve learned to create a local news story to educate their community about the hazard.

  • Scenario-Based Role-Play Games are place-based and hazard specific, and have students assume the role of community members tasked with responding to a natural hazard as it occurs in their hometown. 

  • A Community Resilience Expo is a project-based learning component, that challenges students to come up with strategies to increase resilience in their community, which they then present to their community in a public forum. 

Explore the Unit Overview, and the Example Instructional Calendars to develop a lesson progression that works best for you.

We invite you to use the HEART Force Curriculum in your classroom! If you would like to participate in HEART Force programming, we offer several opportunities: 

  • Teacher professional development workshops Currently, we are planning to offer a 1-credit workshop in partnership with the Western Colorado University Summer Teacher Institute, June 15-16. This workshop is open to all secondary science teachers. Additionally, if you are in a rural district and have several teachers who would be interested in taking a workshop, contact us directly to discuss hosting a workshop in your area. 

  • Support with the Community Resilience Expo CIRES staff can offer help with finding guest speakers, brainstorming ideas for resilience strategies, logistics and planning for an expo, and offer funding for students to implement their resilience strategies. 

  • A network of teachers around the state Learn about what other teachers are doing, and get tips on what works and what doesn’t work. 

The program does have a research and evaluation component, so we ask that all teachers participating in HEART Force programming complete teacher surveys, and have their students complete pre- and post-surveys as well. Our team will work with your district to make sure data collection is approved. 

Partners:

risa      nidisgmd 

               nws                               nihhis                                           noaa

 

Advisors:

Rob Pressly, Colorado Resiliency and Recovery Office at Colorado’s Department of Local Affairs

Taryn Finnessey, Senior Climate Change Specialist at the State of Colorado’s Department of Natural Resources

Patricia Gavelda, Colorado State and Local Mitigation Program Planning Manager at Colorado’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Greg Guibert, Boulder’s chief resilience officer, who is part of the 100 resilient cities and has many regional, state-wide, national and international connections with resilience efforts. 

Juliette Rooney-Varga, PhD, Director Climate Change Initiative Boulder Emergency Service

Frank Niepold, NOAA climate program office 

Jen Kretser, Wild Center

Lesley Smith, Foothills United Ways 

Beth Barthel, UNAVCO

Partner communities [to date, additional community partners welcome]: 

  • Archuleta County 
  • Boulder County
  • City of Longmont
  • La Plata County
  • Larimer County
  • Jefferson County
  • Gunnison County
  • Montrose County 

 School partners [to date, additional school partners welcome]:

  • Westview Middle School, Longmont
  • Estes Park High School, Estes Park
  • The Early College of Arvada, Arvada
  • Durango High School, Durango
  • Montrose High School, Montrose
  • Ignacio Middle School, Ignacio
  • Animas High School, Durango
  • Pagosa Springs High School, Pagosa Springs

Partner Organizations:

Curriculum

Videos

How to Play the HEART Force Drought Game
How to Play the HEART Force Drought Game

This video introduces the HEART Force Drought game materials and gives an overview of how to play.

How to Play the HEART Force Flood Game
How to Play the HEART Force Flood Game

This video introduces the HEART Force Flood game materials and gives an overview of how to play.

Flood
How to Play the HEART Force Wildfire Game
How to Play the HEART Force Wildfire Game

This video introduces the HEART Force Wildfire game materials and gives an overview of how to play.

Wildfire
HEART Force Community Sector Interview - Waverly Klaw
HEART Force Community Sector Interview - Waverly Klaw

Waverly Klaw, Hazards and Land Use Planner with the State of Colorado Department of Local Affairs, describes what resilience looks like for the community sector in Colorado.

Wildfires in Colorado with Megan Cattau
Wildfires in Colorado with Megan Cattau

Megan Cattau, Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Earth Lab at University of Colorado Boulder, discusses wildfire in Colorado for the HEART Force project.

Wildfire
HEART Force Infrastructure Sector Interview - Lizzie Kemp
HEART Force Infrastructure Sector Interview - Lizzie Kemp

Lizzie Kemp, Resilience Program Coordinator at the Colorado Department of Transportation, describes what resilience looks like for the infrastructure sector in Colorado.

HEART Force Watershed and Natural Resources Sector Interview - Kevin Houck
HEART Force Watershed and Natural Resources Sector Interview - Kevin Houck

Kevin Houck, Chief of Watershed and Flood Protection at the Colorado Water Conservation Board, describes what resilience looks like for watersheds and natural resources in Colorado.

Drought in Colorado with Doug Kluck
Drought in Colorado with Doug Kluck

Doug Kluck, the Regional Climate Services Director at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, discusses drought in Colorado for the HEART Force Project.

Drought
Flooding in Colorado with Jeff Lukas
Flooding in Colorado with Jeff Lukas

Jeff Lukas, a scientist at the Western Water Assessment, discusses flooding in Colorado for the HEART Force project.

Flood
HEART Force Economic Sector Interview - Danielle Lendriet
HEART Force Economic Sector Interview - Danielle Lendriet

Danielle Lendriet, Regional Coordinator and Analyst at the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, describes what resilience looks like in the economic sector in Colorado

HEART Force Colorado Resiliency Framework Overview - Kate Busse and Rob Pressly
HEART Force Colorado Resiliency Framework Overview - Kate Busse and Rob Pressly

Kate Busse (Local Resiliency Program Manager) and Rob Pressly (Resiliency Program Manager) with the Colorado Resiliency Office at the Colorado Department of Local Affairs describe the Colorado Resiliency Framework.

HEART Force Housing Sector Interview - Allison George
HEART Force Housing Sector Interview - Allison George

Alison George, Housing Director for the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, describes what resilience looks like in the housing sector in Colorado.

HEART Force Health Sector Interview - Aimee Voth Siebert
HEART Force Health Sector Interview - Aimee Voth Siebert

Aimee Voth Siebert, Behavior Health and Inclusion Worklead at the Colorado Department of Public Health, describes what resilience looks like in the health and social sector in Colorado.

Keep up to date on opportunities and news from CIRES Education & Outreach